15 October, Around La Paz
I woke up to the buzz of a phone. I answered it but there was no-one on the other end. I took that as my wake up call as my mobile seems to be missing (my alarm clock). Anyway, I got dressed went down stairs and was shown at reception that Ruben had called. I went and had breakfast wrote my blog then rang him back. He didn’t answer so I did some internet. Had a few problems with the internet and found myself frustrated. I am over tired and have felt down so I find I stress out more. Anyway I tried Ruben again and he said he would come around 11.30-12pm. It was now 10.30am, so I went back to the internet and started checking emails and Couch surfing. I am looking for another place to stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve been advised to go there as it is very similar to Europe. So I have decided to stay only a week here and move onto Argentina.
Ruben turned up and I asked if we could go to coffee. I wanted to discuss what happened the day before and my change of plans. He suggested we go to the BQE (Bolivian Quakers Education) to look at the office and drop off my suit case. We then went to coffee and I paid for his lunch. I told him that the day before I was upset at them sending me to a hotel and not ringing Alicia. He explained he lost her number as his cell phone went missing a week ago. I explained I had been feeling down and didn’t take it too well. I also said that I realise it is my stuff not theirs as I was upset over a man in Australia. I believe in visibility and telling truth and I told Ruben this. This is how we know each other. I asked him if he knew the word ‘intimacy’ and he said yes. I said it is in-to-me-see. It means getting to know people but being open and transparent. That is why I will tell you how I really feel and how I really slept. I am not going to tell you fine for the sake of peace. For me truth is peace. I may have slept badly but that is fine. We talked about Bolivia and the Aymara culture which apparently predates the Incas and is incorporated into Inca culture. The Aymara have an oral language and are Indian in appearance, similar to the Inca. Ruben is Aymara and he belongs to a group trying to retain the Aymara culture. Under the current government here they are encouraging people to learn the language as it was dying out to Spanish. It predates the Incas.
As we walked I looked at the people and asked about the women and why they were bowler hats on their heads. Ruben said it was a mix of Spanish and Aymara. The actual cap is small and just fits on the head but the bowler part is high above the head Bolivia is not advanced or developed by international standards although La Paz is certainly a bustling city of 1 million people and looking very modernized. Lots of small shops and restaurants. The people eek out a living selling lollies, knitted goods, bags, clothes and various other artifacts. Two people tried to sell me fossils from the mountains from 10 to 100 bolivianos. I told the woman, who was a good saleswoman, that she should contact archeologists and get a better price. She looked sad as I didn’t buy anything. I explained to Ruben this is what capitalism does, people just want the money and it is hard to create connection as people. He walked me round to a Spanish style church and then back up the street. We dropped by a clown shop so I could replenish my balloons and bubbles.
We caught a taxi up to Rebecca’s place high up on the top of La Paz. You could see the mountains from the top. Very spectacular. I was told this is my home. Ruben left and Rebecca took me inside past the barking dog. Still uneasy about dogs after India. She showed me my room which is her sisters. Nice big bed and covered in teddy bears with love all around.
She then suggested we go out and see a friend. I just thought it would be half an hour away, 2.5 hours later after two mini buses we got to see the friends at a hall. Apparently a marionette night is being held the following night and we are helping set up chairs. I am wearing thin cotton pants and as the sun goes down I am getting cold. We chatted to her friends. One of the guys was very interested in my journey around the world and my work as a clown. I explained to him I think with my heart and I tried to convey that the ancient Egyptians also thought with the heart, they never just came from the brain, they saw it as grey matter. I told him I follow the heart.
I conveyed to Rebecca that I would like to find a café and get warm. I thought I may just stay there and wait until she finishes sorting flowers. I really found the venue too cold to sit in. Anyway, she ended up taking me back to her place. On the way on the second mini bus she met a friend. I marveled at the timing. We had stopped in the city to have a bread roll and coffee and that timed us in to meet her friend unconsciously. I never see chance meetings as chance. Meant to be and I marvel at the perfection of life.
She got me home and then had to go out again. I was feeling pretty tired and am on the edge of a cold so I have to sleep well tonight for a presentation tomorrow.